By Zolile Menzelwa
Counterfeit goods worth more than R45-million were confiscated by the members of the sea border police recently after police received information to profile a container destined for East London via Ngqura Port of Entry.
Provincial police spokesperson colonel Sibongile Soci said a search was conducted by the members together with South African Revenue Services and the agent representative. The container, Soci said, was discovered full of different types of counterfeit goods to the value of R45 533 400. The spokesperson said goods found were:
- Branded sunglasses X 7 200 valued at R10 800 000;
- Tommy Hillfiger belts X 960 valued at R960 000;
- Smooth pens X 52 000 valued at R104 000;
- Swiss Gear backpacks X 360 valued at R360 000;
- Gucci sling bags valued at R3 600 000; and
- Branded watches X 1 413 valued at R29 729 400.
“The counterfeit goods were seized and handed over to the officials from Customs and Excise for safekeeping,” Soci said. In a separate incident, Soci said, three suspects aged between 25 and 42 were arrested when their vehicle was stopped at a roadblock on the N2 towards Cape Town. “Upon searching the vehicle, an undisclosed amount of cash was discovered together with different brands of cellphones and accessories,” she said. The confiscated goods were:
- Cellphones X 708 at a value of R775 000;
- Cellphone batteries X49 at a value of R49 000;
- A pair of earphones at a value of R250; and
- A cellphone charger at a value of R250.
“All the counterfeit goods and the vehicle were confiscated. The goods were confirmed by patent attorneys that they are counterfeit. The department of home affairs was also summoned to verify the authenticity of the passports of the suspects and it was confirmed that the suspects are illegally in the country,” Soci said.
Acting provincial commissioner major general Andre Swart commended the border policing members for their vigilance. “The vigilance of the border policing members will continue to ensure that more counterfeit goods are prevented from entering our shores and borders and in turn curb the proliferation of these goods,” Swart said. He said counterfeit goods pose a danger to the country’s economy as SA loses out on taxes due to the illicit trade. “The community is fervently urged to refrain from buying counterfeit goods and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police,” he said.